GSM telcos add over 10 million subscribers in Nov; Idea alone adds 7.43 mn

The GSM subscriber base in the country grew to 801.81 million in November 2016, a COAI statement said


The subscriber additions by Idea Cellular was the highest amongst all operators at 7.43 million, the COAI data revealed. Photo: Bloomberg
The subscriber additions by Idea Cellular was the highest amongst all operators at 7.43 million, the COAI data revealed. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi:The GSM operators have added over 10 million users during November to reach 801.8 million subscribers base, with Idea Cellular leading the pack, according to data by cellular operators association COAI.

“Witnessing a healthy growth in telecom penetration, the GSM subscriber base in the country grew to 801.81 million in November 2016,” a COAI statement said. COAI—which released the November GSM subscriber base numbers on Monday—said the number of GSM subscribers witnessed a jump of 10.18 million as compared to the previous month.

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“Telecom industry’s steady growth was recorded in net subscriber additions from 2.09 million in August to 10.18 million in November,” it said. These numbers do not include the subscriber base of newcomer Reliance Jio, as the company has not submitted the numbers, people familiar with the matter said.

Reliance Jio, also a member of COAI, has locked horns with the cellular association on a slew of issues including voting rights. In a recent letter to Reliance Jio dated 20 December, TRAI had noted “as per information provided by RJIL...the number of RJIL consumers has reached 63 million as on 18 December 2016.”

Meanwhile, the statement by COAI said that the amongst the telecom companies, Bharti Airtel continued to hold on to the pole position in November, adding another 1.08 million additional subscribers during the month to take its total subscriber base to 263.35 million mobile subscribers. Vodafone came next with 202.79 million subscribers, while Idea Cellular added another 187.68 million.

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Interestingly, the subscriber additions by Idea Cellular was the highest amongst all operators at 7.43 million, the COAI data revealed without attributing the reason for the large number of additions by the player. “With 32.84%, Bharti Airtel owns the maximum market share in the industry,” COAI said. The report, which also assesses the growth of mobile subscribers across various circles in India said that UP East added the maximum number of subscribers (73.82 million) in November.

Commenting on the latest industry subscriber numbers, Rajan S Mathews, director general, COAI, said, “The telecommunication industry has again posted a good growth for the month of November 2016. It is heartening to see that the industry is showing signs of a robust growth and we have again moved ahead in ensuring complete connectivity at all levels.”

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